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The Boy Who Loved Wolves

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Stiles and his tribe lived in the forest. He couldn't be more specific than that, since his people were always following Allison's father from place to place, so as not to overhunt in a particular area. The tribe depended on hunting for everything, so they used dogs, whose recent ancestors had been tamed wolves, to help.

Stiles loved the dogs. He took it upon himself to care for them, leading the tribe's pack to the nearest source of water in the morning. Stiles was always talking to the dogs, a constant source of chatter that seemed to calm the dogs.

Others in the tribe noticed that when Stiles asked the dogs to do something, they always obeyed, and that the boy always seemed to know what the dogs wanted, as if he could talk to them. Stiles knew which dogs would get restless if they didn't run every day. He tended to the injured or sick dogs and trained new pups.

When the tribe wasn't on the move, Stiles would escape the campsite and his father's watchful eyes - and the even more watchful eyes of Allison's father, who always seemed to think that Stiles was doing something wrong - to be with the dogs.  He'd walk with them to a clearing a ways away from the rest of the tribe, but never so far that he couldn't hear his father calling for him if need be.

 

One hot, dry day in late summer, Stiles was sitting in a clearing with the dogs.  The sun fell dappled and warm through the trees, and Stiles felt calm and sleepy and content.  Laying with his head resting on a dog's flank, he closed his eyes and listened to the sound of his dogs panting, sniffing about, and playing. A nice breeze rustled through the leaves, and Stiles soon fell asleep.

A few of the dogs whined softly when the breeze started to carry with it the faint smell of smoke-not the same smoke they smelled from the nearby camp, either. More and more birds could be seen flying overhead, all in the same direction. Still, Stiles did not wake up.

Suddenly fire came crawling up from a small nearby ravine, and almost before the dogs knew it the clearing was separated from the camp by burning trees, bushes, and grass.  Stiles came awake with a start, and jumped to his feet, afraid.  The dogs were panicking, jumping around, barking and whining and confused, tails tucked tight under their bodies. Stiles turned away from the camp and the fire, and called sharply for the dogs to follow him.

Instantly the pack was running, chased by the flames and the smoke. Dogs and boy ran and ran, jumping over logs and around boulders and ducking under branches. The fire stopped spreading, and Stiles slowed down, calling for the dogs to stop, but they were still too scared, and kept running. Not wanting to lose the dogs he loved so much, Stiles followed them.

Eventually, as the sun was setting, the dogs came to a stop at the shores of a lake that Stiles had no memory of ever seeing. Feeling dread and fear pool in his stomach, Stiles knew they were lost. Exhausted and shaken, the dogs huddled close to each other and Stiles, and they all fell asleep.

Stiles opened his eyes the next morning to deep growling. In front of him stood a wolf, bigger than any he had seen before, with black fur and shocking blue eyes. He was gorgeous. Behind him stood several other wolves, standing calmly, but alert. Stiles knew that the black wolf had to be their alpha.

Slowly, Stiles leaned forward and offered his hand, palm up, towards the alpha. The huge wolf's growl softened to a sort of constant rumble as he carefully sniffed Stiles's hand. He continued sniffing up the boy's arm, snuffling for quite some time at Stiles's neck and chest.  Stiles held still, forcing his breathing to remain calm and steady.  The dogs sat or stood around them, watching the wolves, especially the alpha, carefully.

Having apparently found whatever he was looking for, the alpha stepped away from Stiles and huffed softly.  The other wolves relaxed immediately, and a few even stepped towards the dogs, tails wagging and ears perked.  Stiles knew that he and his dogs were pack now, that the beautiful alpha had accepted him, and it suddenly didn't seem to matter that he wasn't sure where his tribe was anymore. Happily, the now larger pack returned to their nearby den. Stiles walked with his hand resting lightly on the alpha's back, and the alpha didn't seem to mind at all.

Stiles's tribe searched all over the forest for the boy and the missing dogs, but couldn't find them anywhere.

 

A full year later, Allison and her father were out hunting when they came upon the lake near the wolves' den. When they looked across the water to the distant shore, they saw the wolves playing on the beach, watched carefully by the large alpha. Next to the alpha sat Stiles, a wolf pup in his lap.  They called to him, and Stiles waved back, excited, but the alpha growled at the two hunters and immediately ushered Stiles and the rest of the pack away from the beach and back into the forest.

Allison and her father rushed back to camp and told the tribe that they'd finally found Stiles. They gathered a group of hunters and returned to the lake to find the boy again.

They searched around the lake and finally came upon the den.  The alpha defended Stiles and his pack, always standing between the boy and the hunters, hackles raised, teeth bared, and snarling in fury.  Some of the hunters tried to catch him with ropes, but he dodged them, facing the hunters without any fear, eyes blazing a cold blue.

The hunters were impressed, and might never have reached Stiles, except Allison had snuck around behind the pack while Derek was focusing on the hunters, and got to Stiles without him even noticing.  The puppy, which Stiles was still holding, wiggled his body happily, trying to reach the girl. Stiles turned to see what had gotten the pup's attention, and saw Allison.  She grabbed his arm and dragged him away from the wolves.  Stiles flailed to keep his balance and dropped the pup, who landed softly and let out a high-pitched bark, alerting the alpha, but it was too late. Stiles was gone.

 

Stiles was happy to see his father, of course, and the tribe was happy to welcome Stiles home. But it was obvious almost immediately that he missed the alpha, and the pup, and the other wolves.

Every night when the moon rose the tribe could hear the alpha howling from beyond the camp's boundaries.  It was sad sound, full of loneliness and longing.  They knew that the alpha was calling for Stiles.

Time passed.  Stiles became very sick, and his father knew it was because he was so unhappy.  Deaton, the tribe's healer, couldn't do anything for the boy.  In desperation, the tribe asked Stiles what would make him happy again.  Stiles told them that he loved living with the wolves, that they were his pack, and that if they let him return to them, he'd be happy for the rest of his life.

Stiles's father loved his son, and though it pained him to be apart from the boy, he agreed that Stiles belonged with the wolves. He gave his son a new coat to keep him warm in the winter, and the tribe gave Stiles some of their best hunting dogs.

The next day, the alpha and his pack came into camp. The tribe welcomed the wolves as family, feeding them meat and sweet bread.  Many combed their fur until it was clean and gleamed in the sun, and some of the children even took paint and decorated the wolves' bodies with beautiful designs.

In return, Stiles handed the pup over to Allison's father.  The puppy quickly wiggled out of the man's arms and pranced over to Allison, short tail wagging frantically. Stiles hugged his father, and waved goodbye to the tribe as he and the wolves left.

Again Stiles lived in the den by the lake with the wolves, and with their beautiful alpha. They were very happy.

But Stiles still remembered and loved his tribe, and every year he returned to visit, bringing a new pup.

 

Then one year he didn't return, and the tribe never saw him again. Years later Allison was out hunting with her favorite hunting dog, the first pup Stiles had given to the tribe.  The two reached the top of a hill, and saw below them the wolf pack.  Allison didn't see the boy with them, but laying happily next to the large black alpha there was now a light brown wolf with darker speckles in his beautiful fur.

Allison told the tribe about what she'd seen, and they all agreed that Stiles had finally become one of the wolves, and had fully joined his pack at last.